So, you have your drums, you have your cymbals, you’re ready to play. You get to the gig, set up your equipment and have everything looking and sounding good. The first song starts and you start to play your heart out, but your bass drum keeps shifting forward.
This is the bane of every drummer’s existence. Drums need to be securely placed on a surface that doesn’t allow them to move, otherwise you’re going to have to keep pulling the bass drum back towards you.
This is where drum rugs come in to save the day! A few companies have developed specialized carpets just for drum kits, and I have made a list of my favorite ones.
6 Best Drum Mats
The Ludwig Drum Rug is a 78” x 63” rug that will accommodate most drum kits. It has a carpeted surface and a non-slip rubber backing that grips firmly onto hardwood, carpeting and concrete. The Ludwig logo on the carpet is a great feature, since Ludwig is a classic name in the drum world.
The rubber stops this rug from moving at all. The drums on top of it won’t move either. The black design with a white border will complement a drum kit of any color.
The feel of it is cozy, making people who don’t play with shoes on feel warm. It’s also incredibly easy to vacuum, meaning you don’t have to have drum stick shavings lying around everywhere.
A minor gripe with this rug is that the corners are not weighted, meaning that they sometimes try to curl back up again. You can avoid this by placing a cymbal stand near the corners.
This rug is medium weighted, making it easy to travel with. It rolls up nicely and has straps that tie it together in the roll.
The Meinl Drum Rug is a 78” x 63” rug that is made of tightly woven fabric that keeps the drums and hardware in place. It has a rubber base that keeps the rug tightly hugging the ground.
This rug is big enough to comfortably fit two bass drums. So, you could have a huge heavy metal drum setup and this rug would work perfectly.
Meinl offers this in different colors. So, you could have a plain black one or get really unique and artsy.
This rug acts as a good sound dampener as well, meaning it will work well in a loud room like a garage.
The corners don’t curl up like in other drum rugs, which is probably one of the best features of the Meinl rug.
It’s lightweight and comes with a carry bag, meaning this rug was made for gigging. There’s a little strap that is attached to the underside which is supposed to keep it rolled up that doesn’t lie flat when the rug is laid out. This is a bit annoying, and could potentially trip you if you’re not careful. I’ve seen some people cut this strap off to prevent that.
The DW Large Drum Rug is 60” x 84” rug that is built from industrial-grade carpet. It’s a heavy-duty carpet, made to withstand the heaviest of drum setups.
It works well for aggressive playing, meaning it will work even better for lighter playing. It separates the drum kit from the floor a bit, which provides a cleaner sound and better acoustic response.
Pedals with velcro attachments stick nicely to this rug, meaning they’ll be locked tight in place with little movement.
The rug has a clean look, with the DW logos in each corner looking very tasteful.
The only big downside to this rug is that it is hard to clean. It doesn’t vacuum very easily, meaning you’ll have drum stick shavings lying around. To really clean it, you’ll have to take the drum kit off and get down and dirty.
If you’re a cleaning freak, this process might happen often, meaning it will be better to get a rug that is easier to clean.
Electronic drum kits aren’t safe from the dreaded moving bass drum. So, Roland designed this mat for their drum kits, and it works for all electronic drum kits.
The Roland TDM-25 Non Slip drum mat is a 78” x 64” mat that is made from a polyester filament and has a non-skid backing, basically meaning that this thing will keep your electronic drums in place and seat them comfortably on the floor.
This mat absorbs impact, meaning it will make the electronic drums quieter. E-kits still often make too much noise in apartments that aren’t on the ground floor. So, this mat is a good way to help that. It won’t take the noise away completely, but it will suppress it slightly.
A lot of electronic kits are very small, meaning this mat might actually be too big. So, check out the size of your electronic kit before deciding to get this.
It is not an exaggeration when I say that I have seen these mats being sold in every music store I have ever been to. They’re extremely popular. The DrumFire Non Slip mat is a 72” x 48” rubber mat that is lightweight and easy to carry around.
The material of it feels like a yoga mat, and I would be lying if I told you that I haven’t done couples yoga on my DrumFire mat in the past!
It’s big enough to comfortably fit a large drum setup, and it will keep the kit from moving.
The material isn’t the strongest, meaning it can rip fairly easily. The neon green isn’t too attractive either.
This mat is probably the most inexpensive drum mat on the market, which is what makes it so popular.
This rug was made for gigging, it’s literally in the name. The Zildjian Gig drum rug is a 66” x 54” carpet that was designed to be easily portable, yet sturdy.
It’s slightly smaller than most drum rugs, making it easier to position on a stage. It has weighted corners, meaning the corners don’t roll back up like some other rugs.
A cool feature about this rug, is that it comes with a large foam bass drum stopper. Zildjian is ensuring that your bass drum doesn’t move. They know how annoying that is!
This rug is fairly inexpensive and easy to clean, making it a great gigging option.
Why You Need a Drum Rug in the First Place
Your drums are going to move around if you don’t have one. You don’t need a specifically designed one from a big company though. Any carpet will do the job. However, the rugs in the above list are designed to work well and look professional. So, they will just look tidier in your setup.
The size of your drum rug depends on how big your kit is. A kit that is too small for a large rug is not going to be a problem. However, a kit that is too big for a rug will make the rug practically useless. So, its better to get a rug that is too big, rather than too small.
Most drum companies that manufacture rugs will make them in a size that is good for drum kits. So, any rug along those lines should be fine. If you have a monster drum setup, then you might need to look for a much bigger rug.
This really just comes down to personal preference. A drum rug can be any color you want. However, if you’re playing gigs and moving around a lot, I’d suggest you get a rug that is black.
A drum rug isn’t something that people necessarily want to see, making a black rug ideal, since it blends into the stage. A brightly colored rug would just look distracting on stage and not too aesthetic.
Black rugs also allow room for branding, whether it be from endorsements or your band. Black is the way to go, which is why all my picks in the above list are black.